Arthritis occurs less frequently among those living in high socioeconomic areas, compared to Australians living in relatively low socioeconomic areas. A regional difference was also found, with the lowest rates of arthritis in major cities, and inner regional areas recording the highest prevalence. Indigenous Australians were also found to have a higher prevalence of arthritis than other Australians. There are over 100 types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis the most common, affecting 1.6 million and 428,000 Australians respectively.
Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions accounted for around $4 billion in health expenditure in 2004-05. Arthritis is also the eighth most frequently managed problem by general practitioners in Australia.